Occupy Portland begins: 10,000 march for economic justice
Michael Stone, Portland Progressive Examiner
October 6, 2011
Thursday, in peaceful solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, the occupation of Portland, Oregon, began. According to reports, approximately 10,000 peaceful Oregonians marched from Tom McCall Waterfront Park to Pioneer Courthouse Square Thursday afternoon.
The occupation of Portland is modeled after the occupation currently taking place in the financial district of New York City. Occupy Wall Street is an ongoing nonviolent demonstration opposing corporate influence over U.S. politics. Inspired by the Arab Spring, the aim of the demonstration is to begin a sustained occupation of Wall Street and the financial district of New York City.
In a similar fashion, Occupy Portland plans to begin a sustained occupation of an as yet undisclosed location in downtown Portland. However, at the time of posting this story, it appeared that the occupation would make camp at Lownsdale Square in Southwest Portland.
Thursday morning, Mayor Sam Adams issued a positive statement concerning Occupy Portland. The following is an excerpt from that statement:
The City of Portland has been preparing for the Occupy Portland event, with a goal of facilitating a peaceful, effective, and orderly event where everyone is safe.
I support Portlanders in their right to protest and exercise free speech rights, and I encourage all who participate to do so peacefully and with respect to the rights of others. Most of the people that are going to participate in Occupy Portland--as with most of the participants in cities across the country--are there to voice their legitimate concerns about national issues. A peaceful event is the most effective way for participants to deliver that message.
Mayor Adams' open and welcoming attitude is a far cry from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s condemnation of the occupation currently taking place in his city. Indeed, Adams briefly joined the Occupy Portland march in order to thank citizens for their peaceful and well behaved protest.
The following is a sample of relevant tweets from Thursday afternoon’s Twitter stream:
Unofficial estimate based on capacity of pioneer sq: 10k. #Occupyportland
Thousands protest 'the man' by lighting a joint. The smell of marijuana wafts as crowd fills Portland #OccupyPortland
10,000 people at #occupyportland. Impressive.
Wall 2 Wall 99%er's here in PDX!!! #occupyportland
thank you @PortlandPolicefor the good vibe at @occupypdxtoday. #occupyportland
A tip of the hat to #occupyPortland
I've seen signs about the economy, the wars, racism and police brutality, and hunger. #occupyportland